Constituency Question – Beechworth Sex Offender

This constituency question was previously asked of the Attorney-General in April, but she has advised me this week that it should be re-directed to the Minister for Corrections. It follows numerous concerns raised with me by constituents in Beechworth about a recently-released sex offender.

Members Statement- BlazeAid

Blaze Aid was borne out of the ashes of Black Saturday 2009. They are a charity which assists farmers across Australia.

Constituency question- Living Learning program

My question, to the Minister for Youth, follows a 26 October media release announcing the establishment of a new $15 million program, called Living Learning. This program is targeted at young people who have become disengaged from school and are living with mental health conditions – supplying them with additional support to complete their schooling.

Question without Notice- Illegal tobacco

My question is to the Minister for Local Government, Minister Leane. The many problems associated with illicit tobacco retailing are rapidly becoming even more significant in Victoria, particularly for many law abiding small businesses.

Members statement- Queen Elizabeth Centre

The Queen Elizabeth Centre is highly respected for their delivery of early parenting support services. QEC is possibly best known for its ‘sleep school’ – the residential program that has proven a lifeline for thousands of families experiencing sleepless nights.

Adjournment- Revision of attempted murder charge

My matter is for the Attorney-General. It is about some practical problems associated with laws of attempted crime in Victoria. More specifically, it is about the ongoing difficulty for prosecutors in successfully proving the charge of attempted murder.

Constituency question- Relocation incentives for mental health sector

My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. As the Minister would know, Northern Victoria experiences some of the worst shortages in our State for mental health professionals and I would like to ask the Minister if financial incentives for the regional relocation of specialists in the mental health sector might also now be made available by the Government?

Adjournment- Child reunification

My matter, for the Minister for Child Protection, relates to child reunification issues. As everyone here will know, we debated a Bill a few weeks ago that included some very worthwhile changes – in a COVID-related context – to the normal two-year limits on the arrangements for re-unifying parents with children in out-of-home care.

Members Statement- 42k for $42k

People living in the community of Robinvale need to undertake a two-hour round trip to access their nearest mental health service, which often includes time off work and repeat travel as well as the costs of treatment. Luke Benham, born and bred in the area, identified that being 100km from services and resources when you’re not feeling yourself is a real barrier to getting help. Luke set about reducing the burden of mental health in Robinvale and established a fundraiser ‘42K for $42k’.

Speech- Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Bill 2020

As I said in my inaugural speech nearly two years ago, the one thing above all that drove me into politics was the need for better parliamentary representation of victims of crime.  This was on the basis, especially, of my experience with the #ENOUGHISENOUGH campaign, which I co-founded in 2015 after two particularly horrifying cases in Wangaratta of sexual assault and murder.

Constituency question- Dermatology services during covid-19 border restrictions

My question is to the ‘Minister for the Coordination of Health and Human Services: COVID-19’. Many people in my electorate are experiencing difficulty in accessing treatment from dermatologists as a result of the COVID-related border shutdowns.

Question without Notice- Ouyen Intermodal

My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, Minister Symes. Minister, the vital Ouyen Intermodal freight terminal project has the capacity to deliver very significant benefits for farmers and the agricultural industry more broadly in our shared electorate of Northern Victoria

Adjournment- Adolescent family violence

The minimisation of adolescent violence is tremendously significant in numerous respects, not least in substantially reducing current and future financial burdens on Victoria’s justice and health systems, as well as the State’s economy more broadly.  By definition, it also leads to improved outcomes in mental and physical wellbeing at both an individual and family level.

Constituency question- Bushfire management

My question is to the Minister for the Environment. It follows the recent release of VAGO’s Reducing Bushfire Risks audit. For my electorate of Northern Victoria, much of that audit’s content is highly relevant and topical after last summer’s disastrous bushfires and given that another fire season is now imminent.

Speech- Justice Legislation Amendment (Drug Court and Other Matters) Bill 2020

I can confirm that Mr Grimley and I will be supporting this Bill. It has a number of different elements to it. Particularly importantly for us, it includes the provision of some new avenues of recourse in relation to a group of previously-prohibited forms of legal action relating to child abuse.

Speech- Safe Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Amendment Bill 2020

I will begin by stating that Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party supports this legislation. As I said in my speech in February 2019 on the forerunner Bill to this one, I commend the Government on its establishment, in law, of the nurse-to-patient ratios that are again at the heart of this new Bill.  I also congratulate the Government for what I regard as its clear willingness, in this area, to introduce incremental changes to the Safe Patient Care Act in order to continue to enhance how it actually works in practice.

Members Statement- Year 12 and VCE

I want to send my congratulations and best wishes to all of the Year 12 students across Victoria who attended their final days of school over the past week.

Question without Notice- Thomas Embling releases

My question is to the Minister representing the Attorney-General. It follows the recent sentencing of double murderer Ross Konidaris for a new crime spree he committed in 2019 while he was granted unsupervised leave from Thomas Embling Hospital.

Constituency question- Ouyen Intermodal

My question is to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure. I understand the Minister has not met with Ouyen Inc in the nearly three years since 2018. And, last week, the Victorian Government said it is now only prepared to devote another $44 million to the Murray Basin Rail Project notwithstanding that hundreds of millions of dollars are needed even for partial completion.

Adjournment- Child exploitation

My matter is for the Police Minister. It follows last week’s arrests (through Operation Molto) of 44 Australian members of an international paedophile ring, including 11 Victorians, on mass charges of possession of extreme child exploitation material.